Wow! So it hit me Monday that it was one year ago that I ran my first half marathon! How life-changing that was for me! It really showed me my inner strength at a time when I truly felt my weakest.
I had wanted to run the Tacoma City Mother's Day half marathon. I hadn't really trained for it but felt confident I could do it. I was coming off of two really sweet relay runs (Mt. Si ultra and Rainier to Ruston ultra) where I had logged about 12 miles each, but broken up. I really wanted my husband to run the half with me but it just so happened it was the day before he was deploying to Iraq. He said no. I know he could have done it, easily. But we compromised and did the 10K instead. I rocked it with a time of 56 something. Then the next day: Happy Mother's Day to me, bye bye husband. See you when I see you (note the severe sarcasm in that sentence). But this all leads to me feeling weak; emotionally and physically. Having a husband deployed is a whole other post but you, or rather I, have two options: sit around and worry and eat chocolate all day and night and welcome my husband home to all 400 pounds of me, or get off my butt and get out there and work this anxiety off in a health way. I chose the later.
I decided to train for Portland and it worked out that the Tacoma Narrows Half was good timing for one of my long run weekends and a good measure of where I was at. The weekend before that race I ran 10 miles, the farthest I had ever run at one time. So race day came and I was all smiles and excited! My friend Andria, who I do most of my running with, was a bandit on the course, which I don't generally condone but hey I NEEDED my running partner. We were doing great despite four miles into the run my Garmin 405 went wacky on me. So I didn't know my pace or distance. Oh well, that is how I used to train all the time. Geeze! Then I had to stop for a potty break around mile 7. I had a hard time recovering from that. All I could think when I sat down was that my legs were going fall off, my muscles were so tight and I was shaking! But I pressed onward, through Cheney Stadium! At mile 9.5 I saw a bunch of people I knew from the YMCA and they cheered me and Andria on. Then the Mile 10 sign came up. Uh oh. What would happen after mile 10? I had never gone more than 10 miles at one time! Oh what? 3.1 more miles? Can I really run that much more? 10 miles is SO far! Where did this HUGE brick wall come from? How the heck do I get OVER it? THROUGH it? AROUND IT?
I kid you not Andria willed me on, her words of encouragement were priceless! "Only 3 more miles, you are AWESOME!" "Look how great you are doing!" And on and on...I don't remember much of the last 3 miles, I was silent and hiding in my head to ignore the pain. But I do know when I saw that Mile 13 marker I wanted to die! How could I possibly do.1 more miles? They HAD to have marked this course wrong! I MUST have just ran 30 miles! Where IS that finish line? What? There it is? Look at all those people? I am doing it! I can go a little faster... Then they handed me a glass. Ha. Why on earth would you hand someone a glass when they are covered in sweat, shaking with goose bumps when it is 85 degree outside? My friend had ducked off the course so she wouldn't cross the line and met me at the finish and grabbed my glass as it was falling to its demise on the pavement. Then she and I both stared at my blood stained sock and shoe where my timing chip had just been. "Nice!" We both said in unison and smiled. WE DID IT! I DID IT! I may have grumbled for about 10minutes but by the time we got to the car we had already decided to do Super Jock n Jill on Labor Day barely a month later (that is where I did a terrible thing to my IT band and was off my feet for a bit over a month and why Portland did not happen last year).
I still have my battle scar on my right ankle from my timing chip, two lines that circle my ankle. I am quite proud of that scar.
Happy Running all!!
1. I am grateful for the past 4 years with my awesome, silly, sweet, smart little boy who makes me laugh every single day.
2. I am grateful I found solice in running.
3. I am grateful for fresh pineapple.
4. I am grateful that my nieces called today to sing to Levi, it was the sweetest thing I have ever heard.
5. I am grateful for my awesome bike that I need to ride.